Mississippi Energy Co-Op Pulls 15% Stake in $6B gasification power project

Mississippi Power is "still evaluating" next steps after the South Mississippi Electric Power Association, a statewide energy cooperative with 11 member utilities, said it will halt its plan to buy a 15% interest in the 582-MW Kemper County integrated gasification combined-cycle project, a spokesman said on June 1.

SMEPA directors voted on May 20 "to end pursuit" of its stake in the project, whose estimated cost has doubled to more than $6 billion and whose likely commercial operation has stretched two years, to the first half of 2016.

The group cited "delays in project schedule, changing needs and increased participation costs." The spokesman said that, under SMEPA's asset purchase agreement, Mississippi Power must return a $275-million deposit, with interest.